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  1. Default Grand Canyon to YellowStone Summer 2020 road trip

    Hi there, We are an Australian family of 5 looking to spend 3 weeks in the US June/July 2020, and are seeking advice on what is practical and possible in that time. We'd fly in and out of LA, and probably want to spend 3-4 days here to begin with. From there we are wanting to road trip for approx 2 weeks from the Grand Canyon up to Yellowstone, taking in Zion, Bryce, Monument Valley, SLC and Tetons along the way. Kids are 16-10 and good travellers. Is this an achievable amount to cover in this time frame.. given we'd want at least a few days around the Canyon, and a good 5 days in Teton, Yellowstone?? We are thinking of white water rafting, fishing, and may be a rodeo - what are the otehr fun things to see for teenage kids enroute. We are Aussies used to travelling large distances, but would really appreciate any travel tips, suggestions and advice anyone can offer!!!!! New to the U.S.! Thanks, we cant wait to visit.....
    Last edited by Georginamann; 07-01-2019 at 12:56 AM. Reason: spelling error on title

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A great road trip adventure ahead !!

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    With 3 weeks available you can make a really nice trip out of this. The round trip you describe is 5 days of solid driving and if you plan on 4 days in LA, 3 at Grand canyon and 5 in Yellowstone, it won't leave a lot of time for the other attractions if water rafting, fishing and a rodeo are priorities. To create a nice loop I would start by looking at something like this.

    LA >Grand canyon >Page AZ (via Monument valley)>Bryce canyon. (From LA to GC you could overnight on route, perhaps drive through Joshua Tree NP) GC 2 nights?) From Bryce canyon take UT scenic 12 to UT 24 through Capital Reef NP and Hanksville to I-70 and take 191 from Green river. Then go through Vernal to Flaming gorge Res to Jackson WY to visit the Tetons before visiting Yellowstone. (This would require at least 2 overnight stops for the journey, one in Bryce and one midway to Jackson. 5 days in Yellowstone and Tetons combined would be a nice amount of time)) From Yellowstone head to I-15 to Salt lake city and Zion NP and perhaps Vegas before heading back to LA. You may find rafting options around Page AZ and Cody to the east of Yellowstone is a rodeo town.

    This is just one example of many designed to help you get started so once you have worked on your own itinerary and you have more questions or would like help putting it together just let us know and we will be happy to help.

  3. #3


    Cody also has a decent Museum of the West and a couple of restored saloons (good for the family). There is some whitewater rafting between Jackson Wyoming and Grand Teton NP, although during August it was more like wildlife scenic rafting, not too wild. You can also take a ski slope lift up the mountain in Jackson and then hike 1,500 ft down and chip for your own seabed fossils... the hike back up will kill you unless you are elevation acclimated!

  4. Default

    First of all, you have plenty of time to book camping or lodging at the National Parks. These book up many months in advance.

    Utah has some fantastic parks. A lesser known one is Goblin Valley State Park. It is a great place to spend several hours. Being July, it will be incredibly hot in Vegas and throughout Utah. Well over 100 degrees is certainly possible. If you’ve ever watched the Tim Allen movie Galaxy Quest, Goblin Valley will look familiar! That is the home of the dreaded rock creature.

    Adventureous teens, then you HAVE to do the famous Narrows Walk up the Virgin River in Zion National Park. You can spend a couple hours or two days on this hike alone. You step into the river and walk up into the canyon as 2000 foot sheer walls tower above you! Absolutely incredible! Watch this on a large screen, but video cannot do it justice.
    Last edited by travelingman; 07-01-2019 at 03:11 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default One Unstated Benefit

    Although you may have already taken this into consideration, and your plan effectively deals with it, I will mention one other factor to account for when planning similar trips - for those who may read this later for their own trips.

    You do not want to be in Arizona, or Death Valley, in July or August. We are currently (as of July 1, 2019) experiencing 100+ºF (40+ºC) high temperatures on a daily basis and it will only get worse. Now while the Grand Canyon is both farther north and at a higher elevation (the rim is anyway), Flagstaff is currently running at around 80ºF (27ºC) with 40% humidity - oppressive. So doing the southern portions of your trip first makes the most sense, although major attractions such as Grand Canyon National Park will be crowded once schools close for the summer and families head out on RoadTrips.

    To experience some of the west with fewer tourists, be sure to check out some of the less well-known national parks and monuments (NM) near your major stops. Between Los Angeles and Flagstaff there's Mojave National Preserve. Around the Grand Canyon, there's Wupatki NM, Sunset Crater NM, and Walnut Canyon NM. Near the 'Mighty Five' in southern Utah, consider Grand Staircase-Escalante NM, while in northern Utah, Dinosaur NM and Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area might be worth a detour if you have the time. Also remember that you're likely to be going through Utah twice so that you can see some sites on the way to Yellowstone and some on the way back to Los Angeles.

    Finally, with the number of parks and monuments you'll be visiting, you'll absolutely want to purchase an America the Beautiful Pass at the first park you come to that charges an admission fee, and if you have children traveling with you be sure to sign them up for the Junior Ranger Program at each park you visit.


  6. #6


    Speaking of temps... latitude and elevation and elevation is a biggie, especially for overnight lows. Bryce Canyon rim runs 8,000-9,000 ft while Zion Canyon is in the 3,000 ft range. The North Rim Grand Canyon is a couple thousand feet higher than the South Rim, more or less, the canyon bottom much lower and hotter. Lots of variation! Bryce is great in the summer, Zion in the Spring or Fall.

  7. Default

    So true!

    One July vacation, it was 107 in Las Vegas. Several days later i headed north and it was very cold and windy at Cedar Breaks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default From one Aussie to another

    Great trip you have instore there, the children will love it. That country around there is so beautiful.

    One suggestion. You do not say in which State you live, but if you are a member of your local automobile club - RACV, NRMA, etc. - be sure to take your membership with you. It will give you access to tourism information and paper maps of individual States from the AAA, anywhere in the country. Very handy when there needs to be a last minute change to plans, and their maps have much more detailed information than what you will get on most computer maps. Besides they make a great souvenir, if you highlight the roads on which you travelled.

    Enjoy the planning, it is so much part of the trip . I'll be on the east coast mid 2020.


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